Another year of Blair horse trials is now over and this year I realised one thing. We really need to invest in an inflatable air mattress.
Previous years I was perfectly fine sleeping with the mats and blankets underneath. However this year after a bit of a chaotic ceilidh on the Thursday night another three nights in the tent with not much to cushion the ground was a bit on the painful side!
Other than that the weekend was fantastic!
There is always plenty of shopping. I always have an eye on the Blair tops and this year I decided to buy one! I bought the male version rather than the ladies as the ladies one was cream with a purple sash across it. I knew as soon as I stepped on a yard with a cream top all dirt will magically fly towards me.
We arrived Wednesday evening and set up our tent in the almost dark. Our friends that we were camping with had arrived that afternoon so were already set up when we arrived. They had started the BBQ so the meat we brought was put on straight away.
On Thursday we were keen to see some of the grassroots eventing (BE90 and BE100) it is the first year they have run grassroots at Blair Horse Trials so it was good to go and watch. It is also good to watch as it is something that I could see myself and Eva doing when I eventually get myself some transport and get out to training for cross country! Plus we watched someone go round that we both knew as a kid with his ponies and now he was going round the BE100 on his big event horse, so it was great to see him doing well! We also watched some working hunter and some style jumping, along with going on the “LandRover Experience” were you could have a sit in your choice of LandRover and be driven round the assault course, it was actually quite interesting and sitting in the leather seats you can’t help but hope one day you win the lottery and can purchase the £140k landy so that you can put on the hot stone massage function to massage your arse on the way back from the yard after your horse has chucked you.
That night was a pub dinner in the local followed by the ceilidh in the public bar marquee which turned in to a bit of chaos at the end, but was still a lot of fun!
On Friday we mostly watched dressage and showjumping in the morning. We had booked ourselves in for the course walk in the afternoon, when you book you have no idea who the rider will be, this year it was with Bill Levett! He was doing both the three star and event rider masters course (which was the final leg of the series). He was really good talking about the types of things he would be think about coming up to the jumps such as checking his horse is she tiring does he need to take his foot off the gas and how he plans to ride the jumps. It was very interesting and if you are ever in a position to go on a course walk at an event I would highly recommend you go, even if you aren’t knowledgeable on cross country it gives you a good idea of what the horses and riders are up against.
Saturday was cross country day. We sat at the bottom water complex of the course for a few, then headed up to the top water complex were we sat at the top of the hill and managed to have a great view were we could see quite a few jumps!
We then moved to a double of brushes beside the castle. It was definitely a great jump to sit and watch at as there was a few run outs and a few riders decided to take the long route, don’t get me wrong there was also a few riders that sailed through it with out a problem at all.
We then moved to the bottom water complex for the 3*, for which the riders could jump the rail bridge and head down the very steep hill to the next jump, or take the alternative over the “Forth road bridge” and round the steep hill jumping two more parts of that jump. Unfortunately there was one fall at this jump but both horse and rider walked away ok after a bit of a struggle to get up. Riders either took the long option or rode towards the short route with some energy!
Sunday was a bit of a wash out with constant rain all day. We were in early and secured under cover seating to sit and watch the showjumping for the day. First up was the ERM showjumping as they have the cross country in the afternoon. It then proceeded on to the CCI showjumping. As that jumping was taking place my friend managed to also stream the live feed for the ERM cross country also taking place so that we could watch both at the same time without having to get soaked out on the cross country course.
Overall I had a great time at Blair Horse Trials as I do every year, and the ERM is a fantastic series as not only is it great for the riders but as a spectator you can mark along with the judges in the dressage and predict the most influential jump in the showjumping a long with many other interactive things allowing you as the spectator to be involved as it is all live streamed so you can watch along at home!
As far as “what I bought at Blair” I bought my event top and also bought a wax jacket for my boyfriend… so he can use it when up at the horse. Other than that plenty of food and drink!
I am already looking forward to next year and will be keeping an eye out for any air mattress deals I can see over the next year!